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How to Write a Feature Article

Last Updated: April 29, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Mary Erickson, PhD . Mary Erickson is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Western Washington University. Mary received her PhD in Communication and Society from the University of Oregon in 2011. She is a member of the Modern Language Association, the National Communication Association, and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 41 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,439,192 times.

Writing a feature article involves using creativity and research to give a detailed and interesting take on a subject. These types of articles are different from typical news stories in that they often are written in a different style and give much more details and description rather than only stating objective facts. This gives the reader a chance to more fully understand some interesting part of the article's subject. While writing a feature article takes lots of planning, research, and work, doing it well is a great way to creatively write about a topic you are passionate about and is a perfect chance to explore different ways to write.

Choosing a Topic

Step 1 Find a compelling story.

  • Human Interest : Many feature stories focus on an issue as it impacts people. They often focus on one person or a group of people.
  • Profile : This feature type focuses on a specific individual’s character or lifestyle. This type is intended to help the reader feel like they’ve gotten a window into someone’s life. Often, these features are written about celebrities or other public figures.
  • Instructional : How-to feature articles teach readers how to do something. Oftentimes, the writer will write about their own journey to learn a task, such as how to make a wedding cake.
  • Historical : Features that honor historical events or developments are quite common. They are also useful in juxtaposing the past and the present, helping to root the reader in a shared history.
  • Seasonal : Some features are perfect for writing about in certain times of year, such as the beginning of summer vacation or at the winter holidays.
  • Behind the Scenes : These features give readers insight into an unusual process, issue or event. It can introduce them to something that is typically not open to the public or publicized.

Step 4 Consider the audience you’d like to talk to.

Interviewing Subjects

Step 1 Schedule an interview at a time and place convenient for the interviewee.

  • Schedule about 30-45 minutes with this person. Be respectful of their time and don’t take up their whole day. Be sure to confirm the date and time a couple of days ahead of the scheduled interview to make sure the time still works for the interviewee.
  • If your interviewee needs to reschedule, be flexible. Remember, they are being generous with their time and allowing you to talk with them, so be generous with your responses as well. Never make an interviewee feel guilty about needing to reschedule.
  • If you want to observe them doing a job, ask if they can bring you to their workplace. Asking if your interviewee will teach you a short lesson about what they do can also be excellent, as it will give you some knowledge of the experience to use when you write.

Step 2 Prepare for your interview.

  • Be sure to ask your interviewee if it’s okay to audio-record the interview. If you plan to use the audio for any purpose other than for your own purposes writing up the article (such as a podcast that might accompany the feature article), you must tell them and get their consent.
  • Don't pressure the interviewee if they decline audio recording.

Step 6 Confirm details about your interviewee.

  • Another good option is a question that begins Tell me about a time when.... This allows the interviewee to tell you the story that's important to them, and can often produce rich information for your article.

Step 8 Actively listen.

Preparing to Write the Article

Step 1 Choose a format for your article.

  • Start by describing a dramatic moment and then uncover the history that led up to that moment.
  • Use a story-within-a-story format, which relies on a narrator to tell the story of someone else.
  • Start the story with an ordinary moment and trace how the story became unusual.

Step 2 Decide on approximate length for the article.

  • Check with your editor to see how long they would like your article to be.

Step 3 Outline your article.

  • Consider what you absolutely must have in the story and what can be cut. If you are writing a 500-word article, for example, you will likely need to be very selective about what you include, whereas you have a lot more space to write in a 2,500 word article.

Writing the Article

Step 1 Write a hook to open your story.

  • Start with an interesting fact, a quote, or an anecdote for a good hook.
  • Your opening paragraph should only be about 2-3 sentences.

Step 2 Expand on your lead in the second paragraph.

  • Be flexible, however. Sometimes when you write, the flow makes sense in a way that is different from your outline. Be ready to change the direction of your piece if it seems to read better that way.

Step 4 Show, don’t tell.

Finalizing the Article

Step 1 Check for accuracy, and check again.

  • You can choose to incorporate or not incorporate their suggestions.

Step 3 Check spelling and grammar.

  • Consult "The Associated Press Stylebook" for style guidelines, such as how to format numbers, dates, street names, and so on. [7] X Research source

Step 4 Get feedback on the article.

  • If you want to convey slightly more information, write a sub-headline, which is a secondary sentence that builds on the headline.

Step 6 Submit your article by the deadline.

Sample Feature Article

how to write a feature article step by step

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Ask to see a proof of your article before it gets published. This is a chance for you to give one final review of the article and double-check details for accuracy. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write a feature article step by step

  • Be sure to represent your subjects fairly and accurately. Feature articles can be problematic if they are telling only one side of a story. If your interviewee makes claims against a person or company, make sure you talk with that person or company. If you print claims against someone, even if it’s your interviewee, you might risk being sued for defamation. [9] X Research source Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ http://morrisjournalismacademy.com/how-to-write-a-feature-article/
  • ↑ https://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/writing/voices.html
  • ↑ http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=20007483
  • ↑ http://faculty.washington.edu/heagerty/Courses/b572/public/StrunkWhite.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.apstylebook.com/
  • ↑ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/166662
  • ↑ http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/libel-vs-slander-different-types-defamation.html

About This Article

Mary Erickson, PhD

To write a feature article, start with a 2-3 sentence paragraph that draws your reader into the story. The second paragraph needs to explain why the story is important so the reader keeps reading, and the rest of the piece needs to follow your outline so you can make sure everything flows together how you intended. Try to avoid excessive quotes, complex language, and opinion, and instead focus on appealing to the reader’s senses so they can immerse themselves in the story. Read on for advice from our Communications reviewer on how to conduct an interview! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How To Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you dreamt of becoming a famous feature article writer do you acquire your muse from writers like maya angelou, ketaki desai , rishab raj, shivani vig, and other popular feature writers have you ever felt writing as a tool for reflection then, this article will teach you the fundamentals of what makes a good feature article and how to write one.  it is better to learn more about feature articles before learning the strategies on how to write a feature article. so, here we go.

How To Write a Feature Article A Step-by-step Guide

What is a Feature Article?

A feature article, according to Dictionary.com, is a daily or fortnightly article or report about a person, event, frontage of a major event, or the like. This writing adds a personal touch, and quite often, it is written in a discrete style. It can be a news story, the main or most prominent story in a magazine.   A feature article is no doubt an article inscribed to give a piece of in-depth knowledge to events, people issues, or news. A proficient person or a journalist can write a feature article. Their writings will provide background information on a significant or a noteworthy topic, and the article will include the writer’s angle or his/her experience. 

Difference between News Article and Feature Article

It is not a news item or advertisement. It is a common fact that people get confused with news articles and feature articles. We get confused with news and features and always think of the dos and don’ts of writing a feature article. All are aware of feature articles in Sunday newspapers, but where does the difference lie?

News  is always instant information, and this needs to reach the mass as breaking news without wasting time. A news article should be concise and clear and finally, the writer should stick to the point directly. A news story offers information about an event, idea, or situation. 

The article should cover all the “W” (who, what, when, why, where) and “H” questions, which any reader would like to know. News items generally do not add much spice or any additional information to entice the reader. Readers are spared with extra material or statistics, and as far as possible a writer will use adjectives sparingly. In a nutshell, the introduction will summarise the story for the benefit of the reader.

The source and slant of the writer can include slight variations but should not cover more than one approach. The news writer or a journalist can use an inverted pyramid structure. The writer prefers to present the most important information as an introduction or they can be considered as a conclusion as well. This will help a writer exemplify how the news can be prioritized and structured.

how to write a feature article step by step

A feature writer adds depth, wisdom, and color to the story and may entertain or instruct. In short, writing a feature article can be like adding jaggery to gulp bitter gourd. It can be like a stimulant or a catalyst. A feature article is a longer article compared to the news. It is all about lettering a human-interest story to match the target audience. A feature article is written after an event. So, naturally, they try to provide more and more information about the event, or else they give a different perception or a changed viewpoint. 

The main aim of a feature writer will be to analyze, broaden the understanding, and give different approaches to a reader. Remember to note that a feature article is a non-fiction piece of writing. 

Where do we find feature articles? 

A feature article is published in newspapers, magazines, and online blogs , and they add an emotional touch. They are more personal. As a writer, when you write a feature article, it is good to make it more narrative and more appealing for the readers.

If you want to become a professional blogger, then learn from the experts with the Best Online Content Writing Course

Different Types of Feature Articles:

Before starting to write a feature article, different articles and their characteristics will give you the insight to decide, which type to choose before you pen your thoughts to words. Every article should be the voice of a writer and the other characters or places or incidents. Now start thinking of writing a feature article and understand the different types before you shake your thoughts into words.

Types of feature stories : Each article has a divergent focus, and the motive also changes.

⮚      Human interest stories:  In this kind of feature article, the emphasis is given to a person or a set of people. Such an article emphasizes a dramatic incident. Normally, the focal point will be emotion first and later on the information.

⮚      Colour Stories : Describe a location using life and blood, so that the reader can visualize the same in this kind of feature article. A news story can be written in this form to transport the feel.

⮚      News Feature: This is the m ost popular kind of feature article in the newspapers. It conveys news, motives and implications, and consequences.

⮚      Informative Feature:  For this article, the writer conducts an interview, research, data compilation for data, and of course, relies on personal observation. The writer tries to add human stories and give information and education. It offers interesting information and guides the reader.

⮚      Historical Feature:  This type of feature article is for those, who are good at dates, chronology, turning points in history. The main motive of this feature article is to rekindle memory to invoke interest. 

⮚      Lifestyle Feature:   The most widespread feature articles people look for. How to live healthily? How to grow vegetables?

⮚      Scientific Feature : As the name suggests, this feature article voices on science policy and topics related to current topics.

⮚      Interpretative Features:  Political, social, and economic problems could be touched upon, while writing this feature article. Interpretative feature articles provide details, direct, and shed light on the context of specific issues.

⮚      Review:  Review of books, film, and music, etc. This article should highlight why a particular genre is good or extremely good and the specific reason for this extraordinary or ordinary nature.

⮚      Behind the scenes:  This article gives a reader a revelation about the backdrop scenes, or the reader can pry into the behind scenes.

Now you are familiar with different types of feature articles and the next step is to progress a set of skills required to write, organize and edit a feature article before writing a feature article and get set to write a feature article.

Why do you write a feature article ? It is either to instruct, persuade or entertain the readers. Do not miss the fact that feature articles are longer pieces of writing that range from opinions, issues, experiences, and ideas. 

How to Choose and Tempt the Audience When You Write a Feature Article?

It is a common fact that there are thousands of newspapers, magazines, and print media in the market flooding articles with online material. It can be considered as an uphill task to pitch the right audience and to get noticed in this market.  

How to break this discord and attract the audience is to offer the target audience a noteworthy article that is of interest which speaks a lot. Once the target audience is decided, think of their age, status, attitude, culture, and lifestyle. As a writer, you have to know their thought process, language, and vocabulary. 

As a next step, you have to analyze the topics of interest for that selected audience. Technology, travel, health, home travel are striking topics for features since they can be used in specific sections of newspapers or weekend magazines. Feature stories are frequently published in trade publications, usually as special supplements.

Steps to writing a feature article to keep the reader on tenterhooks

● The first point is to  choose the right topic  and the word limit of the feature article. Is the topic relevant and of interest or can this topic hold the breath of the audience until the last word? Do not exceed the word limit (minimum 1500 and maximum 4000 words). 

Briefly, discover a topic of existing importance. Further to that, think of a topic that sells and start forming great ideas that are exclusive.  The brainstorming  technique will help you bring out the best, and this technique will ensure you have a free flow of ideas. Understand the purpose of writing that can take you to the next step of writing.

●        Research the topic  and it all depends on your research. Find out what strikes and how well you can produce it. Read, read, research all aspects and perspectives of the topic, and give an edifying stance. 

Mind mapping techniques will allow you to channelize your ideas and thoughts. How do you do that? After your research and free flow of your ideas or overflow of ideas, create a central theme that will allow you to write. Of course, you can branch your central idea with different color codes and keywords, and colorful images to start with a bang and get inspired. 

More and more branches will make you more confident and with an organized flow of thoughts. Establish your principle and remember that is the meat of your article.

●        Narrow down your plan : Think of the target audience and what type of attitude do they like and what is your attitude towards that topic? Start thinking of all the  Ws and H  (who, why, what, when) and find out the answers for these common elements. Your battle is half won if the major reason for writing this article or the drive to write this feature article can answer all these questions.

●        Structure your astute ideas : Sequence them logically and according to the level of significance.

Now you are ready to start painless writing. Your writing process is also complete, and now time to start writing a feature article of your choice, your passion, and your ideas at your fingertips. Before you put words into life, it is better to know the language used to write a feature article.

Linguistic or language usage in feature articles:

● Use semi-formal language (not formal and not informal) with a human touch 

● Sprinkle sentiments, emotions, and feelings

● Use second person singular when you address the audience

● Adjectives and adverbs can be used sparingly but use action verbs

● Do not forget to use statistics, facts

● Quotes give a better edge or slight superiority to your writing

● Write in active voice

● Use literary techniques to create a special effect for a deeper meaning. This divulges the authors’ motivation.

● Rhetorical questions can invoke interest and allow the reader to think and increase certain insight.

● Anecdotes, imagery, and certain jargon are other language techniques that you can try.

Now you are ready to start writing with  more tips  to chisel and delve deep into writing.

How will you structure and organize a feature article?

  • Headline:  A good introduction is the root of your writing. The publicity of your article lies in those first lines. Grab the attention of your reader with a catchy introduction or try to hook the reader’s interest. In the introductory lines, the main point is emphasized or highlighted.
  • Subheading : Expresses a perspective or point of view of the author and it is also called a  deck . This is the second attempt of the author to tempt the reader. The gist of the article inscribed will allow a reader to be hooked on your article. 
  • By-line : You can express your identity using a by-line and introduce the persons who helped you for an interview or a survey.
  • Hook -: An intriguing initial sentence that will hook readers’ attention and keep them reading. It could be done by using an example, a metaphor, a rhetorical question exactly like how Barak Obama grabs the attention with his rhetorical questions. This paragraph develops on the hook and sets the tone of your article.
  • Introductory paragraph 

This paragraph develops the hook and sets the tone for the rest of the article and defines the tone and focus of the article. The opening paragraph opens with a scheming, plot, or intrigue. You can win the heart of the reader and make them hold their attention with this paragraph. Do not forget to set the section and bring life into those words.

●        Paragraph two of the body: the first main topic . A description of how this person or problem has benefited society. In the author’s own words, this should be an interpretation of events or how to stick to the genre you have selected. Show and try not to speak.

●        From paragraph three onwards , more major points are offered to clarify to inform about vital events or accomplishments about the person/issue. The reader is more clear with more details using facts, evidence, and quotations. 

These pose difficult questions to the reader and include their responses. Paragraphs, photographs, tables, diagrams, and graphs are frequently used to present information in feature articles to present facts or proof to back up the content or support the author’s interpretation and explanation of the text person/issue/events.

●        Summary:   Now you are ready to summarise the article. The final paragraph should create a lasting impression by reminding the reader, the article’s core point and suggesting a suitable course of action, and promoting a shift in standpoint or attitude. 

This should prompt the reader to take a feat or encourage taking a deed. The reader should be able to confirm that the article is ready for a conclusion. Now, you have gulped the capsule to set and write a feature article.

●        Reread and Edit:  This is the most important step of the writing process before you write a feature article.                                                  

Revision and editing are important processes of writing. Editing suggests the chance to see a clear picture, evidence, specifics, fix the language glitches, and polish the article. 

Editing will help you to find out grammatical errors, typos, repetitions, and even dull writing the bugs in writing. This is sure to guide and bucket the thoughts to give a long-lasting impression of the feature article. Final editing and polishing will help you to find out whether you have put in your ideas succinctly and impactfully and whether you were able to connect the dots.

Learn about editing and proofreading here.

4 Personalities of Writing to Reduce Writer’s Block .

Madman, architect, carpenter, and madman. .

A madman creates ideas exactly like a madman. The architect gives the writing structure by moving paragraphs around and looking at the plot. The sentences, phrases, and word choices are being crafted by the carpenter. The judge removes elements of the document that aren’t required. This article will remove the block and help you to write a feature article.

Here are additional tips to become an ace before you write a feature article: 

▪ Be relaxed and conversational

▪ Keep it simple

▪ Short sentences and vary sentence length

▪ Paint a picture

▪ Spice up your writing

▪ Voice your opinion

▪ Smooth your writing by using transitions

▪ Don’t judge the first draft

▪ Always rely on peer editing

▪ Don’t write in the same tone

▪ Don’t put all the interesting facts at one go

▪ Harness the power of comma and punctuation

▪ Don’t dump information

Now you have the style, grace, and power of expressing your thoughts clearly and enlivening your writing with vivid images. It is an inborn talent that requires a knack and relevant guidelines to convert your thoughts into words that become a reader’s delight. This article is to reinstate the writing process and try to refresh your memory and change your writing blocks and procrastination habits to write a feature article.

Now you are ready to start your dream job or have a go. Good luck and best wishes!

Scope of Feature Article Writing:

Newspapers, magazines, and social media are employing freelancers and regular columnists. Print and online media depend on freelancers for making their publications interesting and noteworthy. 

The work from home concept is gaining momentum. Hence, it is beneficial for a featured columnist to be in their comfort zone and earn at leisure. Any individual with a flair for writing and a good grasp of language and creativity can make a decent living. 

A feature article writer can choose any genre of your choice and if you are consistent and stick to the timeline with utter sincerity, then nothing can pull you behind. Freelancers are in demand and make use of your painless writing techniques.                                                                                             

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a feature article different from a blog?

Yes, it is different. While feature articles are published digitally and in print, blogs are published only online. 

2. Is feature writing well as a career?

Yes. With the present changes in the world, it has got ample scope. If your writing style is exclusive, then you have more possibility to be popular. 

3. What are the basic steps for new writers?

✔ Include all the fundamentals of writing (who, what, where why, when, and how)

✔ Plan and organize your writing

✔ Include your viewpoint

It is a fact that writing entails basic principles. It is good to master the rules. This will help you make your foundation before you venture into different kinds of writing. As stated before, writing a feature article is more than facts and includes interesting facts, and recall the points stated in this article before you write a feature article. 

It is of paramount importance to add a dimension of human touch and make it more pleasing. This article has guided you through the steps to write a feature article and touch the chords of the readers. 

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How to Write a Feature Story: Step-By-Step

This article gives a step-by-step process that can be used when writing feature articles. Read more and learn how to write a feature story effectively.

Feature stories are long-form non-fiction news articles that go into detail on a given topic. The most common type of feature stories are human interest stories, interviews and news features.

All of the best feature writers know that their articles live and die on the information that is detailed within the story. However, it requires more than just quality research to create a strong feature article.

You also need to understand how to get the reader’s attention from the first paragraph, as well as how to format the body of the article, and how to write a strong conclusion. It also helps if you have a flair for creative writing, as the style involved isn’t as rigid as traditional news stories.

If all this sounds complex, then don’t fret. There is a step-by-step process that can be used when writing feature articles.

Before we share that template, let us first take a quick look at a few of the different genres of this type of story format.

1. Human Interest

2. news features, 3. lifestyle features, 4. seasonal features, 5. interview pieces, 6. color stories, 7. profile features, 8. behind the scenes, 9. travel features, 10. instructional features, something completely different, steps for writing a feature writing, 1. evaluate your story ideas, 2. do your research, 3. decide the type of feature you want to write, 4. select an appropriate writing style, 5. craft a compelling headline, 6. open with interest, 7. don’t be afraid to be creative, writing a feature story: the last word, 10 different types of feature articles.

As the title suggests, when writing human interest stories, the focus is on people. There is usually a strong emphasis on emotion within these stories.

These feature stories can involve a personal goal, achievement, or a dramatic event within someone’s (or a group of people’s) life.

It can also just be a general story about the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Examples: ‘The leather jacket I bought in my 20s represents a different woman. I just can’t let it go’, ‘I wish I had Rami Malek as a role model growing up – I was stuck with the Mummy’.

News features are probably the most common type of feature article. Within these, there is a strong emphasis on a current event, with the story explaining the reasons behind these events.

They may also go on to examine the implications behind the news stories.

Examples: ‘Eastern Europe’s business schools rise to meet western counterparts’, MBA by numbers: Mobility of UK graduates’.

How to Write a Feature Story: Lifestyle Features

Lifestyle features usually centre around life and how it can be lived better. For instance, an example of a lifestyle feature would be ‘Six Workouts You Have to Try This Summer’, or ‘Why You Need To Try Meditation’.

Lifestyle features are common within magazines.

Example: Six ways with Asian greens: ‘They’re almost like a cross between spinach and broccoli’ .

These feature articles are specific to certain times of year.

If you work within a newsroom, it is likely that they will have a calendar that schedules the times when certain types of features are due to be written.

One of of the advantages of these types of features is that you can plan them in a way you can’t with typical news stories.

Examples: ‘ 5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays With The New York Times ’, The Start of Summer .

Interview features have commonalities with other types of features, but are set apart as they are centred around a single interview.

A good way to strengthen this type of article is to share background information within the it. This information can be either on the interviewee, or the subject that is being discussed.

Examples: Mark Rylance on ‘Jerusalem’ and the Golf Comedy ‘Phantom of the Open’ , ‘I Deserve to Be Here’: Riding His First Professional Gig to Broadway

This is a feature that breaks down the feel and atmosphere of a hard news story.

They often accompany news writing.

Good feature writing here will help the reader imagine what it was like to be a at a certain event, or help them gain further understanding of the issues and implications involved of a story.

Examples: ‘ Why the Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin ’, ‘Admissions teams innovate to find ideal candidates’ .

A profile feature is like a mini-biography.

It tries to paint a picture of a person by revealing not only facts relating to their life, but also elements of their personality.

It can be framed around a certain time, or event within a person’s life, It can also simply be a profile detailing a person’s journey through life.

Examples: Why Ray Liotta was so much more than Goodfellas , Sabotage and pistols – was Ellen Willmott gardening’s ‘bad girl’?

These are features that give readers the inside track on what is happening.

They are particularly popular with entertainment journalists, but are used by feature writers within every sphere.

Examples: ‘‘You Just Have to Accept That Wes Is Right’: The French Dispatch crew explains how it pulled off the movie’s quietly impossible long shot ’. ‘The Diamond Desk, Surveillance Shots, and 7 Other Stories About Making Severance’.

How to Write a Feature Story: Travel Features

As you probably guessed, a travel feature often features a narrator who is writing about a place that the reader has an interest in.

It is the job of the writer to inform their audience of the experiences, sights and sounds that they can also experience if they ever visit this destination.

Examples: ‘ Palau’s world-first ‘good traveller’ incentive ’, ‘An icy mystery deep in Arctic Canada’.

‘How to’ features will always have their place and have become even more popular with the advent of the internet phenomenon known as ‘life hacks’. There is now a subsection of these features, where writers try out ‘how to’ instructional content and let the reader know how useful it actually is.

Interestingly, you don’t have to go far to find an instructional feature article. You are actually reading one at the moment.

Example: The article you are reading right now.

Of course, the above is just an overview of some of the types of features that exist. You shouldn’t get bogged down by the idea that some feature types interlope with others.

Feature writing is a dynamic area that is constantly evolving and so are the topics and styles associated with this type of writing.

If you have an idea for something completely different, don’t be afraid to try it.

Now we covered some of the main types, let’s take a look at the steps you should take when planning to write a feature article.

It sounds obvious, but the first step on the path to a good feature article is to have a strong idea. If you are struggling for inspiration, then it may be worth your while checking out popular feature sections within newspapers or websites.

For instance, the New York Times is renowned for its wonderful ‘Trending’ section , as is The Guardian , for its features. Of course, these sites should be used only for education and inspiration.

In an instructional feature article, online learning platform MasterClass gives a good overview of the type of research that needs to be done for this type of article.

It states: “Feature stories need more than straight facts and sensory details—they need evidence. Quotes, anecdotes, and interviews are all useful when gathering information for (a) feature story.”

The article also gives an overview of why research is important. It reads: “Hearing the viewpoints or recollections of witnesses, family members, or anyone else… can help (the article) feel more three-dimensional, allowing you to craft a more vivid and interesting story.”

Feature articles may involve creative writing, but they are still based on facts. That is why research should be a tenet of any article you produce in this area.

Shortly after starting your research, you will be posed the question of ‘what type of feature do I want to write?’.

The answer to this question may even change from when you had your initial idea.

For example, you may have decided that you want to do a lifestyle feature on the physical fitness plan of your local sports team. However, during research, you realized that there is a far more interesting interview piece on one of the athletes who turned their physical health around by joining the team.

Of course, that is a fictional scenario, but anyone who has ever worked within a newsroom knows how story ideas can evolve and change based on the reporting that’s done for them.

The next step is to consider the language you will be using while writing the article. As you become more experienced, this will be second nature to you. However, for now, below are a few tips.

When writing a feature, you should do so with your own unique style. Unlike straight news stories, you can insert your personality and use emotive language.

However, you should avoid too many adjectives and adverbs and other overused words . You should generally refer to the audience as ‘you’ too.

To learn more, check out our article about the best style guides .

As you can tell from the examples listed above, a good feature usually has a good headline/ header. If you are lucky enough to work in a newsroom with a good subeditor, then they will work with you to decide an eye-catching headline.

However, most of you will have to pick your features’ header on your own. Thus, it’s worth giving some time to consider this stage of the process.

It is handy to take a look at Matrix Education’s tips for creating a catchy headline.

They are as follows:

  • Use emotive language.
  • Keep it short and snappy.
  • Directly address the reader.
  • Use adjectives / adverbs.
  • Tell readers what your content is about.
  • Ask a question.
  • Give an imperative.

These are, of course, only options and they all shouldn’t be utilized at once.

Another suggestion that can be added to the list is grabbing an intriguing quote from the story and using that within the header.

Your opening paragraph should draw the reader in. It is important that you can hook them here; if you can grab them at the start, they are far more likely to go deeper into the article.

Methods of doing this include the building of tension, the posing of a rhetorical question, making an outlandish statement that is proven true later in the article, or working your way back from a monumental event that the reader is already familiar with.

Whichever you use, the primary goal should be to catch the reader’s interest and to make them want to read on.

If you need help, start with writing a five-paragraph essay .

Jean-Luc Godard said that “a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order”.

That statement can be somewhat applied to feature articles. However, don’t be afraid to take risks with your writing. Of course, it is important to share the information you need to share, but a feature article does offer far more room for creativity than the writing of a traditional news story.

8. Leave With A Bang

All the best feature writer leave a little something for the reader who reaches the end of the article. Whether that is a storming conclusion, or something that ties it all together, it is important that there is some sort of conclusion.

It gives your audience a feeling of satisfaction upon reading the article and will make this is the element that will make them look out for the articles that you will write in the future.

The above steps don’t necessarily need to be followed in the order they are written. However, if you are new to this type of writing, they should give you a good starting point as when creating feature articles.

When writing feature articles, you will find a style and a voice that suits you. This is a type of journalistic writing where you can embrace that creative side and run with it.

  • What is a feature story example?

Jennifer Senior won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for an article entitled ‘What Bobby McIlVaine Left Behind’, an article about the human aftermath of grief after 9/11. It is an excellent example of a quality feature article.

  • What is the difference between a feature story and a news story?

There are several differences between a feature article and a news story.

Firstly, news articles are time-sensitive, whereas there is more flexibility when a feature can be published as it will still be of interest to the public.

Secondly, feature stories are usually more long-form than news stories, with differences in style employed in both. For instance, news writing often employs the inverted pyramid, where the most important information is at the start. Whereas, feature writing has a tendency to tease out the information throughout the article.

Lastly, the ending of a news story usually happens when all the relevant and available details are shared. On the other hand, a feature story usually ends with the writer tying up the loose-ends that exist with an overall conclusion.

how to write a feature article step by step

Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.

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1. Researching, Writing and Presenting Information - A How To Guide: Writing a Feature Article

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Writing an Article

Feature articles explore issues, experiences, opinions and ideas. They present research in an engaging and detailed piece of writing. Features articles are written using language and content tailored to their chosen audience. Always refer to your task guidelines for specific instructions from your teacher.

A Step by Step Guide To Planning Your Article

1. Topic - what is the idea, issue or experience that you intend to explore?

2. Audience - who is the target audience of the publication that will contain your feature article?

3. Purpose - why are you exploring this issue, idea or experience?

4. Research the publication. Remember that each publication has a specific target audience and a distinct style of writing. If you’re writing for a well-known magazine, journal or newspaper, find some examples of feature articles to get an idea of the layout, structure and style.

5. Research your topic. Research will ground your article in fact. Good details to include in your article are statistics, quotes, definitions, anecdotes, references to other media (print, film, television, radio) or references to local venues or events (if for a regional/local publication).

  • Draws attention to the main idea of the article
  • Encourages the reader to engage with the article

Introduction - the first paragraph

  • Establishes tone
  • Provides necessary background information
  • Includes a hook or unusual statement
  • Heightens drama or importance of topic to increase appeal
  • May include subheadings
  • Personal viewpoints
  • Quotes, interviews, expert opinions
  • Specific names, places and dates
  • Photographs, diagrams, tables and graphs
  • Suggests an appropriate course of action
  • Encourages reader to change attitude or opinion
  • Reinforces article's main idea

Language features of an Article

The language features of an article will depend upon the purpose and audience; usually, the vocabulary of the article will fit the topic content, and who it is targeted at.

  • Direct quotes - personalises the topic
  • Imagery and description - engage reader's imagination
  • Facts & research - validate the viewpoints being presented
  • Anecdotes - personalise & maintain interest
  • Relevant jargon - increases authenticity
  • Personal tone - created using informal, colloquial language and first person narrative where relevant to purpose and audience
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How to Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

Feature stories are one of the most crucial forms of writing these days, we can find feature articles and examples in many news websites, blog websites, etc.  While writing a feature article a lot of things should be kept in mind as well. Feature stories are a powerful form of journalism, allowing writers to delve deeper into subjects and explore the human element behind the headlines. Whether you’re a budding journalist or an aspiring storyteller, mastering the art of feature story writing is essential for engaging your readers and conveying meaningful narratives. In this blog, you’ll find the process of writing a feature article, feature article writing tips, feature article elements, etc. The process of writing a compelling feature story, offering valuable tips, real-world examples, and a solid structure to help you craft stories that captivate and resonate with your audience.

Read Also: Top 5 Strategies for Long-Term Success in Journalism Careers

Table of Contents

Understanding the Essence of a Feature Story

Before we dive into the practical aspects, let’s clarify what a feature story is and what sets it apart from news reporting. While news articles focus on delivering facts and information concisely, feature stories are all about storytelling. They go beyond the “who, what, when, where, and why” to explore the “how” and “why” in depth. Feature stories aim to engage readers emotionally, making them care about the subject, and often, they offer a unique perspective or angle on a topic.

Tips and tricks for writing a Feature article

 In the beginning, many people can find difficulty in writing a feature, but here we have especially discussed some special tips and tricks for writing a feature article. So here are some Feature article writing tips and tricks: –

Read Also: How Fact Checking Is Strengthening Trust In News Reporting

1. Choose an Interesting Angle:

The first step in feature story writing is selecting a unique and compelling angle or theme for your story. Look for an aspect of the topic that hasn’t been explored widely, or find a fresh perspective that can pique readers’ curiosity.

2. Conduct Thorough Research:

Solid research is the foundation of any feature story. Dive deep into your subject matter, interview relevant sources, and gather as much information as possible. Understand your subject inside out to present a comprehensive and accurate portrayal.

3. Humanize Your Story:

Feature stories often revolve around people, their experiences, and their emotions. Humanize your narrative by introducing relatable characters and sharing their stories, struggles, and triumphs.

4. Create a Strong Lead:

Your opening paragraph, or lead, should be attention-grabbing and set the tone for the entire story. Engage your readers from the start with an anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a vivid description.

5. Structure Your Story:

Feature stories typically follow a narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning introduces the topic and engages the reader, the middle explores the depth of the subject, and the end provides closure or leaves readers with something to ponder.

6. Use Descriptive Language:

Paint a vivid picture with your words. Utilize descriptive language and sensory details to transport your readers into the world you’re depicting.

7. Incorporate Quotes and Anecdotes:

Quotes from interviews and anecdotes from your research can breathe life into your story. They add authenticity and provide insights from real people.

8. Engage Emotionally:

Feature stories should evoke emotions. Whether it’s empathy, curiosity, joy, or sadness, aim to connect with your readers on a personal level.

Read Also: The Ever-Evolving World Of Journalism: Unveiling Truths and Shaping Perspectives

Examples of Feature Stories

Here we are describing some of the feature articles examples which are as follows:-

“Finding Beauty Amidst Chaos: The Life of a Street Artist”

This feature story delves into the world of a street artist who uses urban decay as his canvas, turning neglected spaces into works of art. It explores his journey, motivations, and the impact of his art on the community.

“The Healing Power of Music: A Veteran’s Journey to Recovery”

This story follows a military veteran battling post-traumatic stress disorder and how his passion for music became a lifeline for healing. It intertwines personal anecdotes, interviews, and the therapeutic role of music.

“Wildlife Conservation Heroes: Rescuing Endangered Species, One Baby Animal at a Time”

In this feature story, readers are introduced to a group of dedicated individuals working tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate endangered baby animals. It showcases their passion, challenges, and heartwarming success stories.

What should be the feature a Feature article structure?

Read Also: What is The Difference Between A Journalist and A Reporter?

Structure of a Feature Story

A well-structured feature story typically follows this format:

Headline: A catchy and concise title that captures the essence of the story. This is always written at the top of the story.

Lead: A captivating opening paragraph that hooks the reader. The first 3 sentences of any story that explains 5sW & 1H are known as lead.

Introduction : Provides context and introduces the subject. Lead is also a part of the introduction itself.

Body : The main narrative section that explores the topic in depth, including interviews, anecdotes, and background information.

Conclusion: Wraps up the story, offers insights, or leaves the reader with something to ponder.

Additional Information: This may include additional resources, author information, or references.

Read Also: Benefits and Jobs After a MAJMC Degree

Writing a feature article is a blend of journalistic skills and storytelling artistry. By choosing a compelling angle, conducting thorough research, and structuring your story effectively, you can create feature stories that captivate and resonate with your readers. AAFT also provides many courses related to journalism and mass communication which grooms a person to write new articles, and news and learn new skills as well. Remember that practice is key to honing your feature story writing skills, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time to perfect your craft. With dedication and creativity, you’ll be able to craft feature stories that leave a lasting impact on your audience.

What are the characteristics of a good feature article?

A good feature article is well-written, engaging, and informative. It should tell a story that is interesting to the reader and that sheds light on an important issue.

Why is it important to write feature articles?

Feature articles can inform and entertain readers. They can also help to shed light on important issues and to promote understanding and empathy.

What are the challenges of writing a feature article?

The challenges of writing a feature article can vary depending on the topic and the audience. However, some common challenges include finding a good angle for the story, gathering accurate information, and writing in a clear and concise style.


Aaditya Kanchan is a skilled Content Writer and Digital Marketer with experience of 5+ years and a focus on diverse subjects and content like Journalism, Digital Marketing, Law and sports etc. He also has a special interest in photography, videography, and retention marketing. Aaditya writes in simple language where complex information can be delivered to the audience in a creative way.

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how to write a feature article step by step

Career Advice

Dec 02, 2016

How To Write A Feature Article | FAQs

Ever felt the impulse to write a feature article — or been required to as part of a job— but not known where to start?

The process is simple in theory: 

Step 1: Come up with an idea, or several ideas mixed together

Step 2: Develop a topic proposal or story pitch

Step 3: Work out a practical plan of action. This should include where to go, who to speak to, and your research and preparation for the actual writing stage

Step 4: Draft and redraft your article until its ready to send off

In this short video, Andre Wiesner, Head Tutor of the  UCT Feature Journalism online short course , takes you through this process in more detail: from the inception of initial ideas and the preparation required before writing, to sending your finished piece off to an editor.

Want to hone your creativity and become a feature journalist?

Register for the  UCT Feature Journalism online short course today.


Transcription The process you follow in writing a feature article will differ from one situation to the next, but in general it’s follows a logical production sequence. Your feature article begins with an idea, or several of them mixed in together: something you saw on the news, something you overheard, whatever. Those initial ideas could be small and vague or big and clear. If you think there’s saleable story in them, you find out some more information and develop a topic proposal, or story pitch, to give to an editor. Or, sometimes, the editor comes to you with the idea. The next step is work out a practical plan of action. Speaking personally, the big questions in my own mind at this stage are, Who to speak to, and Where to go? In feature Journalism, you have to interview any number of people, from one to a dozen or more, and you also have to get out to where the action of your story to be able to see things first-hand as far as possible. At some point you begin to prepare for the actual writing: transcribing recorded interviews, digesting field notes and other research, plotting out the article roughly as it will play on the page. Then the real work begins: drafting and redrafting the work until it’s right and ready for you to hit the send button on your email. The story’s off the editor for more work and revision, and after a while, hey, what do you know? The story’s been published. That, my friends, is when you craft the most important thing any writer can produce: your invoice for goods delivered.

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Magazines, newspapers, and online sites must provide their readers with content in the form of well-researched, well-written feature articles. What follows is a proven process for researching, writing, and submitting professional feature articles the meet editors’ needs and enhance your reputation as a writer.

1. Choose a topic.

Start with an idea. Is there something you have a burning desire to write about or a particular publication you want to write for? Once you have decided on your subject, the next step is to establish your premise. What is the point of your article, your working theme? You should be able to sum it up in a sentence or two. For example, here is my working hypothesis for an article on law firm marketing: To compete in an increasing complex, changing environment, many law firms across the country are exploring a revolutionary new strategy — marketing their services.

2. Research

Research has three purposes: – It reaffirms and expands your hypothesis, or it reveals that you are on the wrong track and need to start over.

– In its early stages, research provides enough information to help you block out the article and write a coherent, convincing query letter.

– Finally, it fills in the meat of your article. Information is gathered through interviews, reading, and making expert use of the resources on the Web. No writer can survive today without understanding how search engines work.

3. Draft a query letter

Unless you are on assignment, the idea is to sell your article to an editor, and a good query letter is key to doing so. A query letter parallels a sales call. It should have five parts, and, ideally, each is only one paragraph long. (Editors are bleary eyed from the amount of reading material in their in-boxes.)

– The first paragraph is your introduction. It tells the editor who you are, why you’re writing, and the subject of your proposed article.

– The second paragraph focuses on the editor’s needs, and to write it you must know the general editorial policy of the publication and the audience to whom it is directed.

– Paragraph three briefly describes the content and appropriateness of your article and why the publication’s readers would want this information.

– The fourth paragraph explains why you are uniquely qualified to write this piece. What are your credentials? How much do you know about this subject? How well do you understand the aims of the publication?

– The final paragraph is very short. It is your close, your action statement, in which you state what you will do next. Will you wait to hear from the editor (risky), or will you call to follow up and, if so, when? If you say you’ll call at a certain time, do so.

4. Do more research

Don’t sit around waiting for a response. Go back to researching, this time in much more depth. Immerse yourself in your subject. Gather every bit of information you can find. Talk to as many experts or sources as possible. Keep at it until you are filled to the point of overflowing. When you feel that one more fact will be a fact too many, you’ll know it’s time to stop.

5. “Feed the computer”

Now it’s time to input all the data you have gathered into the computer that is your own mind. Many writers just skip this step because it requires time to read, highlight, make notes, and organize every piece of information you have gathered and self-discipline to walk away and do something unrelated to your article. You’ve put the data in; the “computer” will do the rest. Believe me, it works!

This is what all that preparation has been leading to — the moment when everything comes together into a coherent whole. If you’ve followed the first five steps, you will find that you’re more than ready to write. Obviously, the intricacies of how to do it would require a separate book, but here are a few techniques I’ve found helpful over the years.

Lay out the article in outline form — introduction at the top; conclusion at the bottom; and I, II, and III in the middle. It may sound simplistic, but that format will keep you focused on sticking to no more than three main points. Your introduction must grab the reader and pull her into the story. It should also contain your thesis. The introduction basically makes the point; I, II, and III prove it; and the conclusion wraps it up in a neat little package.

7. Revise and edit

Editing is not a mysterious or highly technical process. It simply means that you read your article very carefully, looking for typos, grammatical errors, repetitive words, and awkward phrasing. I have always found it useful to read my articles aloud because I tend to hear things I miss when I read. Editing provides the opportunity to see the big picture, as well as the details; to fix the glitches; and to polish the prose. As with researching and writing, there is an optimal moment to stop. When one more change might just topple your carefully constructed story, it’s time to print it one last time and turn off the computer.

The payoff to all your hard work comes when you send your manuscript to an editor. After your query letter and follow-up calls, the best-case scenario is when an editor says, “That sounds interesting. I’d like to take a look at it when it’s finished.” There is no sweeter moment — except, perhaps, seeing it in print — than dropping that envelope in a mailbox when you know someone is waiting to read it.

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  3. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Start Writing Your Own Book

    Are you ready to embark on the exciting journey of writing your own book? Many aspiring authors find themselves overwhelmed at the beginning, unsure of where to start or how to bring their ideas to life.

  4. How to Write an Amazing Feature Article in 5 Steps

    Language used in feature articles · Develop a personal tone. Share your opinions · Refer to the audience in second person language (eg. · Use literary and

  5. How to Write a Feature Article (with Pictures)

    Writing a feature article involves using creativity and research to give a detailed and interesting take on a subject. These types of articles are different

  6. How To Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Steps to writing a feature article to keep the reader on tenterhooks. ○ The first point is to choose the right topic and the word limit of the feature article.

  7. How To Write A Feature Story: Step-By-Step

    Methods of doing this include the building of tension, the posing of a rhetorical question, making an outlandish statement that is proven true

  8. A How To Guide: Writing a Feature Article

    A Step by Step Guide To Planning Your Article · 1. Topic - what is the idea, issue or experience that you intend to explore? · 2. Audience - who

  9. How to Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Feature stories are one of the most crucial forms of writing these days, we can find feature articles and examples in many news websites

  10. 5 Tips for Writing a Captivating Feature Article

    A feature article blends hard facts with rigorously sourced details to paint a thorough picture and give a complete story.

  11. How To Write A Feature Article

    The process is simple in theory: ; Step 1: Come up with an idea, or several ideas mixed together ; Step 2: Develop a topic proposal or story pitch.

  12. How To Write A Great Feature Article

    Steps To Writing A Feature Article. - Brainstorm ideas. - What's the purpose? - Research the topic. - Grab the reader's attention. - Keep that attention. -

  13. How To Write a Headline For a Feature Article

    How to Write a Feature Article. Here are the steps you may go through when writing and planning your feature article. Decide what topic you're writing about

  14. 7 Steps To Writing Feature Articles That Sell

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